Kevin Roberts Steps Down After Gender Comments

Kevin Roberts

In wake of the controversial comments about gender diversity, Publicis Groupe announced the resignation of Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts.

The Supervisory Board and the Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe took note of Kevin Robert’s decision to step down with effect from September 1st 2016, prior to his retirement date due in May 2017.

Mr. Roberts issued a statement this morning offering an apology. “‘Fail fast, fix fast, learn fast’ is a leadership maxim I advocate,” he said. “When discussing with Business Insider evolving career priorities and new ways of work/life integration, I failed exceptionally fast. My miscommunication on a number of points has caused upset and offence, and for this I am sorry. I have inadvertently embarrassed Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Groupe, two companies I love and have been devoted to for almost 20 years. I have expressed my regret and apology to the companies for the furor my remarks and language stimulated, and I extend this to colleagues, staff and clients.”

Before the resignation announcement, Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy had issued a statement announcing Mr. Roberts would be put on leave. Mr Levy said, “Promoting gender equality starts at the top and the Groupe will not tolerate anyone speaking for our organization who does not value the importance of inclusion.”

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